15 November, 2022

What Are Dabs?

With the legal use of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes in many states gaining much traction, more ways of ingesting concentrated amounts of THC are constantly emerging—more than ever before. So, what are dabs? Once cannabis is concentrated into wax, shatter, hash oil, or similar other forms, these extracts are collectively called dabs.

The use of marijuana concentrates is not something new. If you've been researching cannabis products, whether as a newbie or a seasoned cannabis consumer, you've probably come across the term Dabs.

Dabs have become a trendy topic and refer to "dissolving weed oil" in layman's terms. Basically, it points to the process of extracting cannabidiol from cannabis flowers by using a solvent like butane or propane.

In essence, dabs are the resulting waxy end-product of this butane hash oil extraction process and resemble blobs. Over the years, different cannabis extracts have risen in popularity due to their various therapeutic benefits. That said, it's important to note that not all cannabis strains are created equal, and thus, not all concentrates are created equal either.

Looking to try out some concentrates? Whether, for recreational or medicinal purposes, this article will take you on a step-by-step guide to help you understand all about dabs.

How are Dabs Made?

Dabs are made using traditional methods for a refined touch or using modern technology if you want to go the large-scale way. The conventional technique uses sieves to separate the trichomes in the marijuana buds. The trichomes are the small hairs that cover the buds and are the essence of the strain- likened to human glands, trichomes contain what gives you the euphoric high when you consume cannabis and cannabis products.

However, even in the traditional technique, the maker still has to use solvents such as butane which are highly flammable, and as such, it is not an advisable method unless you are a seasoned expert in the process. The end result of this extraction and blasting leaves behind a waxy blob.

Modern methods incorporate both solvent-based and solvent-less methods. Unlike raw cannabis flowers, dabs can reach a potency of 90% THC when the plant matter is blasted with the butane. Due to the high levels of purity and potency, dabs are the cannabis version of freebasing.

Solvent-based dab-making techniques involve hydrocarbons such as butane or propane to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes. On the other hand, solvent-less dab-making techniques include dry-sifting marijuana buds to get the kief which is processed into hash.

Additionally, ice water can be used to collect the trichomes from the cannabis bud in filter bags. Lastly, rosin presses (or hair straighteners if you're feeling a little MacGyver) can be used to extract the kief from the buds.

Different Types of Dabs

As an avid cannabis consumer, you probably know that the spectrum of cannabis extracts is as broad as it can get, including budder, wax, and oil, which are opaque liquids and shatter, which is a clear or amber, thin pure cannabinoid sheet.

The different types of dabs are based on the process in which they are made; that is to say, there are solvent-based and solvent-less dabs. Solvent-based dabs range in color, refinement, and viscosity. They include shatter, which is similar to glass but, in some cases might appear to have shades of amber and sticky. Budder is another type and is smooth and malleable while still smooth.

Other types of solvent-based dabs include wax, crumble, and oil which are all sticky but vary in consistency. Other dabs, such as distillate and isolate, contain single cannabinoids, either THC or CBD but vary in form since distillates are viscous oils. In contrast, isolates are powders occurring in crystalline form.

Flash-frozen buds containing various terpenes make a specific dab type called live resin and come in different consistencies. Other solvent-based extract dabs include broad-spectrum, which lacks THC in its terpene profile, and full-spectrum, which contains all terpene profiles and cannabinoids. Solvent-less extract dabs include rosin, kief, hash resembling a wax ball or slab, and bubble hash made using kief and the ice-water process.

How are Dabs Consumed?

Everyone has their own technique and preferences when it comes to consuming dabs, like with any other indulgence, but that's what makes them so interesting. You can consume dabs in joints, smoke pipes, in your vape pen, or using your bong. However, there are also specialized dab rigs and e-nails made for the sole purpose of consuming dabs.

Dab rigs come in various sizes and models and consist of glass pipes that vaporize the waxy blob, which you inhale after it is heated. Vape pens contain a detachable chamber where you input the dab and inhale it when it is vaporized. Bongs are fitted with skillets instead of the ordinary bowl whereby you place the dab and take a big rip to feel the effects—go slow, though, as the potency is much higher than your ordinary flower.

Some users prefer e-nails as you can maintain a specific temperature and can be digitally controlled. There are, however, a few steps to using the e-nail, which might appear a bit complex. Here are these simple steps:

  1. Heat the nail thoroughly to the preferred temperature
  2. Ensure the e-nail's head is at an optimum temperature, so it doesn't burn your dab
  3. Apply the dab on your e-nail neatly to ensure no wastage and inhale—be sure to use the mouthpiece side of the e-nail to avoid injury
  4. Using a cap close the e-nail to maintain airflow and minimize the loss of cannabinoids

Why is Dabbing Popular?

Recently, many controversies have arisen about dabs, with some users claiming that dabbing gives you a clean high. Since you inhale vapor while dabbing, you don't suffer the same effects associated with smoking. Other users are a bit skeptical of dabbing due to the high potency levels of THC and claims of solvent-based extraction, which results in carcinogenic effects.

The extraction process further creates controversy whereby if not done by pros, it can lead to catastrophic effects since highly flammable solvents such as butane and propane are used. Moreover, dabs are bound to give you an intense high, so if you are a novice, be prepared for an exhilarating trip, unlike what you may experience when smoking buds in your ordinary sesh. You might also experience other effects, such as nausea, dizziness, and paranoia.

Best Stores to Buy Dabs & Concentrates

Hikei is your one-stop concentrate store and online shop! We take pride in the quality of our dabs. When it comes to resin, we pay close attention to clarity, potency, and unique taste. All our concentrates are sourced from reputable suppliers. Buy now!